A Thousand Times, Big Life, Everline, Feels Right, Freedom Run, Gotta Keep Lovin', Long Walk Back, Minute Mile, None the Wiser, Pop Cult, So Long, The Rifles, The Spitfires, Wall Around Your Heart
Poprock is primarily a guitar-based genre. Though one definition might define it as the classic rock and roll combo but with an extra accent on melody, that is often accomplished via chiming or ringing electric guitar chords or trebly hooky lead guitar lines. These bands showcase just how guitar drives the poprock sound.
Everything about The Spitfires’ “So Long” says excitement: from the crunchy opening guitar, to the pumping piano that carries the verses, to the heavily accented vocals that echo a bit of the Jam and Billy Bragg. This is a killer performance whose intensity just never lets up. “On My Mind” is another strong track from their debut album, A Thousand Times. The Spitfires call Watford, Hertfordshire home.
Hailing from Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Pop Cult have a indie vibe going with a pair of singles that would have made a fantastic double A-sided 45 back in the day. “Feels Right” has a effective combination of pumping piano, spacey guitar and uber-cool rhythmic lurch while “Gotta Keep Lovin’” is driven by hypnotic background vocals and a solid crashing beat. Both songs exude a Dandy Warhols-like élan, i.e. super catchy and oh so cool.
The Rifles are a monumental talent. Over five albums this east London band has honed sonic influences that include Oasis, the Jam, the Clash and host of other late seventies/early eighties bands into their own distinctive sound. Early records No Love Lost and Great Escape have a load of great songs like “She’s the Only One” and “The Great Escape” but things really take off for me with 2011’s Freedom Run. Check out “Long Walk Back” with its textbook perfect opening riff and shimmering vocals that draw you in while the hooks just won’t let go. Why this song didn’t zoom to the top of the charts is beyond me. The whole record is strong but the acoustic “Everline” is also a standout track. Since then two more albums only confirm this band’s strengths as songwriters and performers. 2014’s None the Wiser rocks with “Minute Mile,” a super single, and the lovely “All I Need,” another breezy tuneful acoustic-ish number. The band’s most recent release is 2016’s Big Life and there is no let up in the quality. If it were up to me, I would release “Wall Around Your Heart” as the potential hitmaker. Minute MileWall Around Your Heart
The heads up on today’s material came from that mercurial blogging genius, Best Indie Songs. Make sure to check out his site as you follow up on the Spitfires, Pop Cult, and the Rifles at their own internet locations.